Grueling physical challenges. Deputies screaming orders. Food from a paper bag. A hard bench for a bed inside four cinder-block walls.
That's the life Richland County teens experienced during their overnight stay in a prison cell as part of the sheriff's department's R.E.A.D.Y Program.
The program, which stands for Richland County Educating and Deterring Youth, will be featured in an episode of A&E's "Beyond Scared Straight" at 10 p.m. on Dec. 8. The show profiles jail-deterrence programs aimed at keeping teens across the nation out of prison.
Richland County parents of youth with behavioral problems can enter their teens into the R.E.A.D.Y Program in hopes of giving them a "reality check." Students between ages 12 and 16 can stay overnight in a jail cell at the Richland County Courthouse.
At the end of their stay, officers from the Richland County Sheriff's Department Gang Unit talk to the youth about how to avoid a real trip to jail.
Parents have to pay a $10 administrative fee to cover the cost of a jumper, a snack and breakfast.
For more information about the program call Investigator Gerald Walls at 803-518-4127.
For more information about the show "Beyond Scared Straight," visit the A&E website.